Trying to Cast a Nier: Automata Feature Film

The action RPG Nier: Automata is the sequel to Nier, which in turn, was a spin-off of the first installment in the Drakengard franchise. In short, one of the endings of the first Drakengard game saw its protagonist pursuing a nightmarish monster through an inter-dimensional portal to our world to kill it before being shot down by a fighter jet. Unfortunately, the supernatural intrusion results in further incidents, thus leading into the events of Nier.

In Nier: Automata, it is stated that the human race has retreated to the moon, where it sends combat androids to reclaim the surface of the Earth from the mechanical invaders from another world. This would suggest that the project to save the human race through rather convoluted means succeeded. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a lie perpetuated by the highest leadership of the androids, who fear that knowing the truth would send their entire kind into an irrecoverable depression because they had been created to prioritize the well-being of humans. Even worse, it is revealed that the androids and the machines have been fighting for so long not because neither side can overcome the other but because a third intelligence has been enforcing an artificial stalemate that involves semi-regular wipeouts of entire factions.

Regardless, Nier: Automata is focused on the stories of the androids called 2B, 9S, and A2, who struggle to come to terms with what happens to them as well as the information that is revealed to them. Furthermore, there are other characters of importance from both the androids and the machines, who struggle with similar issues. Summed up, while it would have to undergo significant transformations, Nier: Automata would have some potential if converted into a sci-fi movie.

Who Could Do a Nier: Automata Movie?

Of course, the idea of a Nier: Automata movie starts with the question of who would be responsible for directing it. One choice might be James Cameron, who has shown an enormous interest in sci-fi franchises over the course of his career, including more than one that focus on robots that blur the line between what should and shouldn’t be counted as humans. However, Blade Runner was interested in some of the same issues. As a result, Denis Villeneuve might be another good choice depending on whether Blade Runner 2049 is any good, particularly since Sicario made excellent use of surprise reveals while Arrival was an interesting look into the challenges of bridging the gap between different species.

As for casting people for the characters, that comes with its own particular challenges. On the one hand, the androids look like humans, which simplifies things. Likewise, some of the machines look like humans, whereas other machines look like, well, lumbering machines, which opens up increased possibilities when it comes to the choice of voice actors. Regardless, some people have suggested Scarlett Johannsan for 2B, presumably because of her recent performance in Ghost in the Shell, while others have suggested Olivia Munn. Meanwhile, it is amusing to note that a young Christopher Walken has been suggested for 9S, though someone like Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be a much more realistic option.

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